Saturday 4 July 2015

Feeling hot hot hot

Ugh, how hot is it ? Too hot for me. I had great plans to sort the garden this afternoon, its a complete mess, I am not blessed with green fingers. However we've at least managed a sunflower this year. In my cumulative 29 years of parenthood (12+10+7) never before have we managed to keep a sunflower alive long enough to see it flower. Its rather bedraggled looking, but it is DEFinitely a SuNfLoWeR! Oh happy day! Not a parental failure after all!!

I've had these petunias (I think, I get a bit muddled with my bedding plants) for ages now, I really need to actually plant them. And yes that is a strawberry plant next to them. Also unplanted. It has produced a strawberry, but the snails got to it first. Pah. I bought a couple of strawberry plants, courgette plants and a mini red pepper plant a while back. Is it too late to plant them properly now ? Will they do much ?

But still I buy stuff to plant up, mainly as they keep getting them in at Asda, and I always give in to the temptation. I have managed to plant up a few and keep them watered on the front porch at least.

But the garden had to take a back seat today as we've been at the school summer fayre this afternoon. As usual it was a great social afternoon of meeting almost every school parent that you know, and having 3 children attend, and having worked there, I know a fair few! Lots of chit-chat and laughter, the Little People can wander around sort of doing their own thing, winning stupid amounts of sweets and hanging out with their friends. Traditionally the Yr5 children (age 9-10) run their own stalls. Bounce a ping-pong ball into a jar, win a sweet. Hit a target with a nerf gun, win a sweet. Spin the spinner, guess where it will land, win a sweet. Are you seeing the theme here ?

Little Miss and her friend were on the "tennis ball challenge" stall (I've stickered friend's face out for courtesy) and her job was provision of tennis racquets, so she took ours along. When I say "ours" I mean mine and hubby's from when we were at school. They are wooden and look like something out of a museum. The game invoved various challenges including "hit the ball with the racquet and try and aim through one of these holes" - in the piece of cardboard they were holding up. Surprisingly noone got a black eye or a broken nose.

Back home now I have a large glass of pink lemonade (my new find at Sainsbury's, oh my it is sooooo refreshingly lemony) and I'm watching Wimbledon (new balls please!) and doing a bit more of Little Man's mentor's present. I think I mentioned in my last post that she's a lovely calm, gentle lady, and is the perfect sort of unflappable, even-keeled personality to deal with an autistic boy. I've noticed she wears very muted tones - soft yellows, greys and blues, and this Araucania yarn is just perfect for her.

I decided to make a version of the "Strawberry Lace Scarf" from the book Crochet Noro.

Crochet Noro was one of the first crochet books I bought, and it is really gorgeous. Often it can be hard to find patterns for items that really showcase colour-changing yarns, but this book is full of great ideas. 

I didn't have enough yarn to make the full width (I MUST learn to either buy more of a yarn or none at all) so I am doing a half width instead. In the picture below you can just see the "strawberry" pattern emerging. The pattern isn't especially tricky, but its an 8-row repeat and I just can't seem to keep it all in my head. Thankfully the pattern has a chart so I'm glancing at that as I go along. 

I've almost used the first skein, and I reckon that so far the scarf is about half the length it needs to be, so with 1 skein remaining, it's looking like it will work out really well. I love using up just the right amount and having no yarn left, do you know what I mean ? I haven't made my mind up about the fringeing. The pattern calls for a very light at least 4-ply if not lace weight yarn. I'm using more of a DK weight, with a 5.5mm hook. I'm not sure if a DK weight fringe would over-power the delicate pattern ? Any thoughts people ? 

The scarf is looking a bit dishevelled at the minute but I know that a really good block will transform it. Can't wait for that bit! Happy weekend everyone :)


  1. What a fun day! I remember those kinds of carnivals when our children were young. Lots of work, but lots of fun too. It's blazing hot here too. Over 100F most of the past week. Ick! Your lemonade looks very refreshing. I'm looking forward to seeing your scarf grow. The yarn is lovely.

  2. I remember those fete days well, amazing that you got good weather for it. Its a scorcher here too which is unusual on the coast. The scarf is looking gorgeous, I love the colour changes of the yarn, stunning! I have never come across the pattern book I must look it up.

  3. We've got our Summer Fayre to look forward to next week, I see a few crossover themes between yours and ours! That yarn is gorgeous, I'm sure the scarf will be a big hit. And I'm a little envious of your sunflower - ours always seem to fail. Thank you for your kind words over at my place, it was lovely to be 'found'! I do sleep, but you should see how messy my house is - not doing housework frees up lots of time for making!

  4. The sunflower is lovely. I have been trying for years to grow a few strong ones but they are hard to grow. The scraf is beautiful and great present. Love the blends of colours.

  5. The sunflower is lovely. I have been trying for years to grow a few strong ones but they are hard to grow. The scraf is beautiful and great present. Love the blends of colours.

  6. Good job on the sunflower! Your plants will be happier in a bigger pot of dirt.. :-) Although we got some bad potting soil and some of our dahlias are not happy. Have a fun summer! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Well done on the sunflower, I've given up trying to grow one as I tried for years and never succeeded maybe I'll try again next year. The fete looks fun and it brings back lots of memories from when our girls were young. That yarn for the scarf is lovely such pretty muted colours I shall look forward to seeing the scarf completed.
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend
    Jackie x

  8. What a great sunflower! I never have any luck with them... The scarf is beautiful and I am sure it will be very much loved :) I need to find me some of that pink lemonade... x

  9. Bet your son's mentor will just love that scarf Jill X

  10. Oo, the mentor will be one lucky lady - such beautiful yarn and pattern. You definitely need a relax after a school summer fete. You tub at the front of the house is lovely -so colourful.
    Have a good week
    Caz xx

  11. Congrats on the sunflower success! It is incredible hot here in Germany too. Right now thunderstorms are on their way and thus it is so humid. Yuck!

    The yarn for the scarf/shawl looks yummy. Can't wait to see it finished!

    Take care
    Crochet Between Worlds

  12. The sunflower is beautiful, as well as your other flowers (planted or not). ;)

    The fair looks like so much fun!

    And I envy the whiz you are with those needles Lady! The scarf is looking just lovely and what a perfect gift.


  13. Yay, sunflower succes :)!!
    That scarf is going to be such a beautiful present ..... She will be so happy with it!
    Lots of love, Mirjam.

  14. What a great present, a blocking will sort it out immensely. Try the fringe and see what it looks like. Jo x

  15. What a great present, a blocking will sort it out immensely. Try the fringe and see what it looks like. Jo x

  16. The sunflower is beautiful! This morning we enjoyed a good rain, so the temperature has come down a little bit, otherwise here too it was unbearably hot for the last few days. Love the colors in your scarf.

  17. What a beautiful scarf - such lovely, soft colors. I'm sure your son's mentor will be thrilled to receive this. Great sunflower!

  18. We used to enjoy the primary school fairs as much as our children did, I think. As you say, a chance to meet up and chat with fellow parents while the children rush around having fun. I managed to grow a sunflower just the once, years ago. The slugs always eat them, without fail. Your scarf looks quite tricky to me - I'm not sure I could focus on the tv and all that counting! Well done, it's looking very soft and pretty. I must say I've really enjoyed the cooler temperatures and a bit of rain in the last few days:)
    Cathy x

  19. Dear Jill
    I just thought I'd say hello to you! I love your bright bedding plants - they are so cheerful. Your crochet projects are really fabulous too. I tried crochet at a workshop but we just didn't hit it off at all, so now I content myself with admiring other people's work. Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather - much more pleasant, I think.
    Have a good rest of the week.
    Best wishes
    P.S Did you see the Channel 4 programme 'The Autistic Gardener' last night? I really enjoyed it and it gave a little insight into the different ways that autism can present itself, including Asberger's, and a little of the issues that the 'autists' (as they were called) and their families have to cope with. Worth a look.

  20. That scarf is lovely. What a wonderful present. The school fair sounds like fun. Too many sweets? Never heard of that!

  21. I love your blog! I love your Molina Yarn. My son teaches tennis to young kids; I will show him your fun tennis ball challenge!

  22. such gorgeous yarn and a lovely pattern.
    Om not very green fingered either :(


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